Trump says China meddling in midterm elections; social networks say there’s no proof

Less than 14 days until the midterms, the US political landscape appears more destabilized than ever, as information regarding foreign digital interference in the political system resurfaces. US President Donald Trump launched a number of accusations only a few months ago at a UN Security Council meeting, pointing the finger at Chinese intelligence attempts to obstruct the midterms.

He claimed his statements were backed by evidence but it was never publicly released. Vice President Mike Pence supported Trump and spoke of “an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections,” according to Bloomberg.

These statements caused even more tension in the relationship between US and China, which was already on thin ice. At the time, The Washington Post wrote that Trump’s accusations were in fact made “in retaliation for the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing, marking a new front in the deepening hostilities that have threatened to upend bilateral relations.”

The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and Office of Director of National Intelligence also released a joint statement addressing China’s involvement:

“We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” read the statement. “These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.”

Social media networks Facebook and Twitter, however, found no evidence of “coordinated activity” by Chinese intelligence, Bloomberg reports. Strong evidence does link online propaganda campaigns to Russia and Iran.

“When we think about China, we haven’t seen the same sort of coordinated operations involving information operations as we have from the other nation states,” said Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Bitdefender Labs authored by Luana Pascu. Read the original post at: https://labs.bitdefender.com/2018/10/trump-says-china-meddling-in-midterm-elections-social-networks-say-theres-no-proof/